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Poll results: Majority of readers vote for Texas to shut down again

COVID-19 cases in Texas continue to reach record highs, leading Gov. Greg Abbot to cancel elective surgeries in big cities and pause the reopening of the economy statewide. We asked readers if they think Texas should shut down again, and the majority voted "yes."


Of 132 voters, 58% were in favor of shutting Texas down. Those who voted "yes" said shutting down was needed to contain the virus and that it would be for everyone's safety.

"It's clear we cannot rely on personal responsibility to keep people from doing COVID-spreading activities like congregating in bars and restaurants—we can't even convince people to wear a mask when out of their homes. Though exceptionally sad for small businesses, we must close again to slow the spread," one respondent wrote.

On the other side, 31% of respondents voted against a shutdown. Comments left for those who chose "no" were that shutting down was too drastic and safe practices could keep the economy open while slowing the spread of the virus.

"Negative outcomes on economy, families and non-COVID health issues far outweigh benefits of shutdown," one respondent wrote.

Only 10% voted "unsure," leaving comments about the effectiveness of social distancing and sanitizing practices in place.

"I support measures such as limiting crowd sizes and requiring masks over a complete shutdown. There has to be a way to keep our economy open and also stay healthy since we will be living with this virus until a vaccine is available," one respondent wrote.

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A mortgage banker walks us through the math on purchasing a 'mid-price' Austin home
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To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.

Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.

Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.

So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.

Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.

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